84 instant tips towards perfecting grammar

Tip 1: A simple, direct sentence would definitely be better than a twisted account of
things. In case two sentences are grammatically correct, choose the one which expresses
the central idea in a clearer manner.

Tip 2: A verb should agree with the subject in number. A pronoun should agree with the
antecedent noun in number

Tip 3: Find the true subject in a sentence and not the intermediate pseudo subjects
while ensuring agreement with the verb. Example: The person with six fingers has
requested for a room.
Tip 4: Where there is an ‘and’ there should be a plural verb.
Tip 5: Phrases implying addition (along with, with, together with, besides, including, as
well as, etc.) do not alter the status of the main subject. Example: (Ram, along with his
friends, is going to the party.
Tip 6: If the subject is made up of two parts, unequal in number, the verb takes the
form of the part closer to it. Example: Not only the secretary but also the tenants have
agreed to vote in favour of the bill. OR Not only have the tenants but also the secretary
has agreed to vote in favour of the bill.
Tip 7: Two singular subjects connected by either, neither, or would result into a singular
verb form. Example: Neither Salman nor Aamir has agreed to host the show.
Tip 8: There are a few nouns that look plural but essentially mean one thing. Example:
tactics, electronics, news, etc. These will take singular verbs.
Tip 9: The verbs which connect the subject to the rest of the sentence (called linking
verbs) agree with the subject and not the rest of the sentence. Example: Your plans for
the wedding sound nice.
Tip 10: The nouns which have no singular form always take a plural verb. Examples:
proceeds, goods, ashes, credentials, etc.
Tip 11: Collective nouns which have no plural form but are always used in a plural
sense always take a plural verb. Examples: alphabet, poultry, cattle, offspring, etc. To
get this sense, understand the subject phrase completely. It will always be an indicator
if the sense of the subject is singular or plural.
Tip 12: Collective nouns that have no plural form and are always used in a singular
sense always take a singular verb. Examples: hair, tissue, furniture, abuse, poetry,
prose, etc.
Tip 13: Collective nouns wherein the group acts as one are considered to be singular.
Example: The jury has agreed to review its decision.
Tip 14: Collective nouns wherein the group does not act as one are considered to be
plural. Example: The audience were not happy with the verdict.

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Tip 18: If there is a phrase ‘The number’ in the sentence. Tip 26: Anyone. A part of the office is closed. neither are always singular when they start the sentence. the sentence won’t be affected even if the phrase is done away with. This is similar to the case of ‘One of’. someone are always used in a singular context. which are expensive. minority. Tip 20: Relative pronouns (that. which. the verb will take a singular form. every. Example: 100 meters is enough to figure out the fastest runner on the planet.in . majority. Example: A number of students are missing from the class. it should be singular although. Example: Two-thirds of the interested students have turned up. nothing something are always used in a singular context. somebody are always used in a singular context. Tip 17: A part of the whole (ratios. everything. Example: Gems that sparkle often elicit forgiveness. any. it will take a singular verb. Example: The state boys figure I'm too close to you to be what somebody calls 'objective'. Tip 21: Each.) will take a verb dependent on the nature of the whole. if there is a phrase ‘A number’ in the sentence. they will have an accompanying plural verb. Tip 16: A noun that expresses an amount be it in terms of time. Tip 27: ‘That’ precedes a part of the sentence which cannot be done away with. etc. If they come in between. Diamonds.Tip 15: In case of organizations/teams.learningroots. it will take a plural verb. Mehta & Sons have decided to no longer be a part of the deal. no one. Three months is enough time to prepare for CAT. either. some will depend on the phrase following of. money. everyone. The number of aspirants taking CAT has gone up in the last few years. Example: There isn't anything precious about this situation with Dulce. it should be plural in form. He is one of those who believe in the importance of hard work. the verb usage depends completely on the phrase following ‘one of’. more. If it is singular. Example: Someone has to stand up and be counted during these times. who) will take on the verb form of the subject that these pronouns refer to. often elicit forgiveness. Example: Each of you is expected to do well in CAT. Example: Mumbai Indians is one of most balanced outfits in the IPL. Tip 25: Anything. is considered singular. most. etc. nobody. Tip 22: All. ‘Which’ is usually preceded by a comma whereas that is a continuation of the original subject. You have to ask the question ‘Who?’ or ‘What?’ to the verb and you should be sorted. everybody. Example: One of my dresses is missing from the cabinet. Ten grams each of tea and cinnamon were required to make the potion. Visit us on: http://www. if it is plural the verb will take a plural form. ‘Which’ precedes a part of the sentence which is simply another bit of information and so. Tip 23: The titles of publications are always singular Tip 24: Anybody. if the action suggests that a group of individuals took an action. Tip 19: In case of the phrase ‘One of’. even if there is an additive in the name (and).

Example: We should always respect one another. or desire to ensure that a future event would take place. herself. immortal. cannot come when there is an ‘and’ in between.in . Tip 30: ‘The same’ is not a pronoun. one should understand one’s strengths and weaknesses. intent. Example: Take some of this medicine and give the same to your brother. Example: I should have stayed back a bit longer yesterday.Tip 28: Myself. Example: I would have won the match yesterday if I had batted on for another couple of overs. I would encourage women empowerment. Example: If I were the Prime Minister. Tip 33: Either/neither is used to indicate one of the two people. Rohit is more intelligent than Mohit. Tip 39: Would is the past tense of will and is used in a similar context. itself. it should be followed by ‘one’ and should not take the gender specific form of ‘his’ or ‘her’. If wishes were horses. yourself. Example: Will and Berta are happy in each other’s company. Tip 41: Comparative form can also be used if you are comparing one object with any of the remaining objects. Visit us on: http://www. beggars would ride. wisest and fairest of all beings. Tip 40: Comparative form is used only while comparing two individuals. Example: Rohit is more intelligent than any other student in the class. (Incorrect usage) Tip 29: If there is the pronoun ‘one’ that is used in a sentence. Example: While analyzing a mock. Tip 42: When two qualities of the same individual are being compared. Tip 32: One another always refers to more than two persons. Tip 37: Should is the past tense of shall and is used in a similar context.learningroots. Example: John is more smart than handsome. himself. Example: Three were given to the Elves. Example: Either you or your neighbor would be benefitted by this product. Example: Ramesh is taller than Suresh. Example: Any of you cowards want to test their strength with me? Tip 35: Whenever there is an alternative scenario that you wished for or are visualizing. (Incorrect usage) Tip 31: Each other always refers to two persons. use ‘were’ irrespective of the status of the subject. Tip 34: Any/none is used to indicate one of more than two people. Example: I will destroy all my enemies. Tip 38: Will indicates more of determination. always use a ‘more’ instead of the comparative form. Example: Tony and myself went for the party. Tip 36: Shall is used when there is a simple indication of a future action. (Correct usage) Tip 43: Superlative form is used only when there are more than two entities being compared. Example: I shall go to the office tomorrow. etc.

Josh had come in to my room for a quick discussion on the proposal. the less you bleed in war. He propped up on his elbow as soon as he heard the news.Tip 44: Few adjectives can never be compared. Judith is the wisest. Tip 53: Between is used when there are exactly two entities. Example: There is hardly any need for him to study that hard. She studies at the University of Delhi. Example: There are four kings in a standard pack of cards. Example: He is the most cleverest person I know of. Example: When it comes to choosing between tennis and cricket. The nightstand is beside the bed. up on essentially indicates a position and is preceded by a noun clause. Example: Shruti is the oldest employee of the organization.in . Tip 57: On and upon are interchangeable. There cannot be a more square object compared to another and so on. as if he had something on his mind. Example: I don't want to go anywhere besides India. Example: All of you raise your hands up in the air. Example: The leaves are scattered upon the grass. unique. Example: Shruti is the eldest of her three sisters. Tip 56: Besides means in addition to.learningroots. Tip 54: At is used for a smaller. perfect. Tip 52: Among is used when there are more than two entities. etc. (Correct usage) Tip 51: ‘All of’ will always be proceeded by a pronoun. (Incorrect usage) Tip 46: Few/Fewer is always used in case of numerical attributes. Tip 48: Elder/eldest is used for members of the same family. beside means by the side of. should not be accompanied by a negative. I have a soft corner for the former. Tip 50: Hardly and scarcely already carry a negative connotation and so. Hands shoved backwards into his back pockets. Example: Among all of Berta’s daughters. Example: The more you sweat in peace. Tip 45: Double comparatives and superlatives are a complete no-no. specific place while in is used for larger towns or cities. Visit us on: http://www. Tip 47: Less/Lesser is always used in case of abstract attributes. Tip 49: Older/oldest is used for persons outside the family. Example: There are fewer girls in IIM A compared to IIM B. Example: square. into refers to motion from a particular place to another while in to refers to the motion undertaken by a person to fulfill a particular reason. he took slow deliberate steps. Example: She stays in Delhi. Tip 55: In always refers to the position of an object within a group. round.

etc. The earliest bird gets the worm.39 pm. Tip 69: The present perfect tense indicates either that an action was completed at some point in the past or that the action extends to the present. Example: The Burj Khalifa. prior. Tip 67: Whenever a proper/material/abstract noun is used as a common noun. it is preceded by a ‘the’.Tip 58: Senior. ‘a’ is used when the singular noun does not begin with a vowel sound (not necessarily a vowel) and ‘an’ is used when the singular noun begins with a vowel sound. Tip 68: Simple present tense is used when the event indicates either a universal truth. etc. The Bible. Tip 65: Books not beginning with the name of individual/verb in the title are preceded by a ‘The’ if it is not there in the title of the book. The Autobiography of Chetan Bhagat are correct but The Imagining India.in . Tip 62: Whenever a superlative is used when the subject is a common noun. It was never meant to die here. The Prime Minister. an. The Macbeth are incorrect usages. Visit us on: http://www. Example: The peacock is the most beautiful bird. we use a ‘the’.learningroots. It can also be used in case of fictional past events or while communicating a past action as it occurred. Example: The only thing standing between you and your goal is the story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it. Tip 66: Whenever you are using an individual to represent the entire class. the Summer Slam is on the 23rd of August 2015). The Geeta. superior. Tip 64: Prominent buildings. inferior. it is preceded by a ‘the’. The Taj Mahal. or a habit that occur in the present but not at the precise moment. Tip 63: Whenever ‘only’ is followed by a noun. Example: He is superior to most of his colleagues. present tenses are used to indicate scheduled events (the high tide is at 3. The form is ‘has + past participle of verb’. Tip 61: ‘The’ is used when the entities are one of a kind. junior. Example: A university (the sound is ‘you’ and so. Example: Brian Lara is the Tendulkar of the West Indian team. Example: This is the most helpful document that I have referred to. it will be preceded by an ‘A’) Tip 60: Nouns that are uncountable do not take an article (a. Example: Rooney has scored in all the matches against Liverpool. (Correct usage) Tip 59: ‘A’ and ‘an’ are used in case of singular nouns only. The Koran. preferable are always followed by ‘to’ and not ‘than’. preference. individuals. the). So. institutions. The ring of power has a will of its own. The World Trade Center. Also. The United Kingdom. you use a ‘the’. organizations are preceded by a ‘the’. Example: Mankind was born on earth. The sun. The National Democratic Alliance.

learningroots. when. Example: Before it gets dark. Tip 75: No sooner is always completed using a ‘than’ in the second part of the sentence. Tip 79: Since always tells the starting point of an event that has been continuing till the present whereas For tells us the duration for which the event has been continuing till the present moment. she would have reached home. Example: Since his childhood. The construct is ‘will + be + present participle of a verb’. Example: He will have finished his homework by the time I reach home. Tip 80: On suggests contact with another entity. after. there should be a helping verb (do. Tip 73: Future perfect tense is used in the form of ‘will + have + past participle of the verb’ and indicates an event that will have been completed at a future point in time. He has been the president of the club for the last ten years now. Tip 74: Future progressive tense is used when an activity would be going on at a future point in time. Over indicates some gap between the entity and the one beneath. Example: He will be travelling when I reach home. Tip 71: Past perfect tense is used in the form of ‘had + past participle of the verb’ to denote an event that had been completed (rather perfected) in the past. etc. Visit us on: http://www. Tip 77: Before. Example: Place the books on the shelf. Example: He was still having his breakfast when I left for office. Example: He had taken his pills when I went to meet him. while. I will not be able to answer your question unless you teach me the topic. Example: No sooner had I stepped out. till are not followed by a verb when they indicate a future event. Bob has been a brilliant student. Tip 76: When the sentence starts with a negative correlative.in . (Correct) Before it would get dark. Tip 72: Past progressive tense indicates an activity that was going on at some point in time in the past. (Incorrect) Tip 78: Until conveys an element of time (before a certain event happened) and unless conveys a condition (before certain additional information was provided). does. The plane went over the sea.) before the subject is entered. than it started raining. she would have reached home. did. Example: Hardly had he stepped out when it started raining.Tip 70: Present progressive tense is used when an activity is still going on at the present moment (Students are reading this document) or sometimes when it will be happening in the future (He is moving to Delhi in December). Example: Buzz believed he was the actual Lightyear until he saw the commercial on television.

He is taller than I. the lecture has been called off today. ‘Who’) Tip 83: Due to/caused by cannot be used to start a sentence. (Cover the ‘who’ and replace it by a ‘he’ and a ‘him’. playing video games and collecting stamps. Example: He enjoys running. Example: You. substitute the word by either he/she and him/her and see which one works the best. The secret of this recipe lies between you and me. (Correct usage) He enjoys running. Him laughs should reveal it to you which one is the better choice – ‘He’ in this case and so.Tip 81: When describing an activity carried on by different groups. the second person (you) should come before the third person (he/she/it) which in turn should come before the first person (I). Example: Due to extremely unavoidable circumstances.learningroots. Example: He who laughs last laughs best. Tip 82: To understand the difference between who and whom.in . He laughs vs. (Incorrect usage) Visit us on: http://www. playing video games and to collect stamps. She and I should go to Spain once. (Incorrect usage) Tip 84: Verbs pertaining to parallel ideas or the parallel ideas themselves that are conveyed in a sentence should follow the same tense throughout.

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